A glance at FIU’s basketball schedules shows the women’s team getting the first game on the newly named Lime Court at U.S. Century Bank Arena, and the men will host the highest profile opponent on the beach scene court.
The women open their season Nov. 8 against Florida Gulf Coast, a Women’s National Invitational Tournament team last year, as was FIU.
That same day, the men’s team and new coach Anthony Evans open at the Kennesaw State Tournament against Eastern Kentucky. The men’s first home game is Nov. 14 against Florida College, the first game of a three-game homestand.
A month and a week later, on Dec. 21, the men host defending national champion Louisville, the second of a home-and-home series arranged last year between Louisville coach Rick Pitino and son, Richard, then the FIU coach who is now at Minnesota.
Although that game lost its family appeal, the women play a contest with old home connections Mar. 1 when they host Old Dominion. Cindy Russo, FIU’s coach going into her 35th year, played at Old Dominion and recruited Inge Nissen, a Hall of Fame player at Old Dominion who also has been on Russo’s FIU coaching staff for 25 years. FIU is 3-1 in the previous four meetings with Old Dominion.
The women open their first Conference USA season Jan. 8 at home against Rice and the men do the same the following day at Rice. The FIU-FAU games will be Jan. 25 — the women in Boca Raton, the men south of Sweetwater — Feb. 1 (FIU women host) and March 6 (last game of the season for the men).